Thursday, November 13, 2008
. . . because it's legal in Amsterdam, Number 98 on my Bucket List.
We flew to Amsterdam with -- you guessed it -- The Diva and the Doc. We wanted to see, among other things, how a country with such seemingly liberal mores operates; you know, with legalized prostitution and marijuana.
Well, the first thing I discovered was that marijuana is not really legal, but only decriminalized. There's a difference. You can smoke in certain confined areas of Amsterdam, but the transportation of it will get you sent to the pokey, the pen, the slammer, the big house, up da river. So bringing it to Amsterdam is a crime, but if you somehow get it past the police, you're allowed to blaze up the chronic. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, so to speak.
The next thing I learned was that prostitution is an industry. It is taxed, and you need a license to practice it. Although I'm sure the hookers are probably good at it and don't need to practice. You would think the government would have mandatory HIV testing, but they say it would be discriminatory to test the girls and not the "johns" because that would be perceived as the girls being the problem. I agree with that ideology. The "johns" are half the equation, aren't they?
How did I learn all of this? We took the Prostitution Tour led by a real live hooker! She took us down the many streets where girls dance in storefront windows, kind of like Macy's or Saks. The men can just choose which one they want. When they close the curtains, you know what they're doing right there in the window . . . don't you? The windows are rented from the various owners of the buildings, a big part of this money-making industry. Rarely does a girl own her own window; however, the money they earn is theirs.
There is also segregation amongst the prostitutes. The Africans are on one street, Asian on another, Latinas on yet another. Interestingly, though, there was no street for lesbians.
Our guide to the hookers ended the walking tour at Casa Rossa, a theater with a live sex show. While Sarge did not want to even go near the marijuana clubs, he did want to see this show, although he professes to anyone who will listen that he would much rather have gone to a museum. Yeah, right.
Museum or no, Amsterdam is a most interesting place.
(Above is a pic of us eating french fries with mayonnaise. Yuk!)
Posted by MsALWalker at 10:54 AM